Money, or currency, is one of the most important resources in life, essential to freedom and opportunity. Cryptocurrency is a type of payment form that can be used to purchase services and goods. Unlike common currency, like cash and coins, cryptocurrency is a completely electronic digital currency. Cryptocurrency functions using a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a database type, serving as a digital ledger of transactions. Blockchains can be centralized or decentralized. Of the different cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is the most popular. People use bitcoin to trade, pay bills, and more. It is estimated that about 17%, or 46 million, Americans have ownership of at least a share of Bitcoin. The numbers continue to rise as more people Like Judge Napolitano embrace cryptocurrency.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, launched in January 2009. The virtual money is represented by tokens that are purchased based on an algorithm. Individual Bitcoins are computer files. These files, or Bitcoin, are stored in a digital wallet application that can be accessed via computer, smartphone, or other devices. Bitcoins, or partial Bitcoins, can be sent to digital wallets, and then sent on to other digital wallets. All these transactions are publicly recorded in the blockchain. Further, Bitcoin mining is accomplished by high-powered computers. The computers solve complex computational math problems that even the most sophisticated computers could be hard pressed to solve. This mining produces new Bitcoin and maintains the ledger of transactions. The Bitcoin network is decentralized, with no middlemen or principal authority. Users power this peer-to-peer network and influence cycles of value. The network processes approximately 300,000 transactions daily, with a portion of transactions having multiple recipients.
Success Behind Bitcoin
Bitcoin has become wildly popular and successful, with the price soaring into the thousands since 2017. Reasons that Bitcoin is a giant in cryptocurrency is that no banks/middlemen are involved, fees are lower than traditional banking, Bitcoins can be used to purchase products anonymously, they can be great investments, sending is easy through computers or mobile applications, and more. Ultimately, popularity can be largely attributed to the blockchain technology providing a decentralized environment for transparent transaction history, while maintaining user anonymity. Bitcoin transactions are fast and easy, and growing in acceptance. Online exchange sites, major retailers such as Starbucks, Tesla, Whole Foods, Microsoft, and more, currently accept Bitcoin.
Future of Bitcoin
The Future of Bitcoin appears very bright. Fox News Judge Napolitano spoke with Jerry Brito of George Mason University, in a 2011 Fox Business Network segment, about Bitcoin, what it is, and what it offers. In 2011, Bitcoin was not largely accepted as a payment form but has grown exponentially and propagated across numerous sectors. Just as Napolitano ended the segment with a desire to try Bitcoin payment at a local restaurant, individuals should, at the least, feel open to trying or exploring a new method of financial process, that undoubtedly is here to stay and that can be lucrative and/or more, or as efficient, existing currency and financial networks. Bitcoin is the future.